Sunday, August 22, 2021

Sammy's Siblings

After the discovery of George Crogin Morton in my Thru-lines on, and the relationship of many of his descendants to myself, I began a journey to discover who he was. 

He was showing as a son of Ezekiel Morton and Elizabeth Brumbalow Morton, a couple I am descended from in my paternal line, however, I didn't have any information on him being a child of this couple, no information at all. This comes about from other people's family trees having him connected as such, and me, forever wanting to "fix" things I find are incorrect, started on this trail.

But there was also the whole tangible truth that his descendants are related to me.

It just took a moment of comparing shared matches to discover he was related to me on my mother's side of the family, and I have a Morton line on that side, too. A modest bit of sleuthing brought me to the conclusion that George must have been the younger brother of Rev. Samuel Parsons Morton. The story of George and my research on him can be found in the post at this link:

After I had already blogged on George Crogin Morton, I was back sorting through information and files and found the following correspondence in the Family Files at the History Center. Unfortunately, it's only pieces of correspondence, so I only have the address of one writer and the name of another.

In 1981, an individual from Amarillo, Texas had written to a Mrs. Osborne, whom I believe should have been written to Mrs. Ausband, who was the county historian years ago.

The writer, who's name I do not know for certain, but may have been a Ruth Jackson, who I find in another letter on the same subject, was the child of George Parham Morton, youngest son of George Crogin Morton. I'm not certain whether the writer is living or dead, but would lean toward the latter. It's already mind-boggling to see that the grandchild of someone who was born about 1820 was still living in 1981.

She (I believe it's a she), stated; "George C. was a brother to Samuel P. Morton - one of the ministers at Rocky River Baptist Church (3 miles out of Ansonville.) Note: I had already figured that out before I found this, but wish I had found it first.

"Have pictures from the family Bible of one of George's daughters and they have James Madison Morton, Susan Morton, George Parham Morton (my father), Pemberton Morton, (my father's brother).....

George Crogins father or brother, a lady, Mrs. John Jackson of Little Rock, Ark (in the library) says George C's father was James. After receiving these pictures, could be but there is a George ( besides my father) could be a brother.

The writer goes on to speculate that the father came from Virginia, which is very possibly true, especially now that I know that George Simeon Morton, who fought in the War of 1812 from Montgomery County, North Carolina and was in the 1830 census of same, was born in Prince William.

She goes on to propose a possible connection to a James, William and Samuel who were in the Revolutionary War,  from Virginia and those names, with a George, end up in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. The connection is possible, but I've not gotten enough information from this end to even attempt to find a connection from that end.

After explaining the desire to connect this information in a tangible manner to request membership to the DAR, she again mentions the photo of a James Madison Morton who appears older than the photos of her father and uncle.

A different handwriting in another letter, list the children, and their pertinent information, of George Crogin Morton.
This writer appears to be a Mrs. Hugh Reap, who is now deceased, and a daughter of George Parham Morton, son of George C. 

After this is some very interesting and new information to me; "Grandfather Morton had two brothers Ferdinand and Samuel P. Morton. His sister's were Elizabeth Morton Fesperman, Peggy Morton Folk and Hannah, who I suppose did not marry, as I have no other name."

This is followed by a note, from possible library or museum staff, that pages were "missing when procressed".  The last page goes on to list the dates of birth, death and burial of George Crogin Morton and his wife, Polly.

Samuel Parsons Morton was where I began, so that relationship I had already established. But what about Ferdinand? 
I knew S.P. Morton had a son named Samuel Ferdinand Morton. Was there another Samuel Ferdinand Morton, or was Ferdinand actually his brother and not his son?

The Stephen Ferdinand L. Morton that I know about was born February 2 1826.
He died on March 4, 1877 in Cleburn, Arkansas.

I don't know what the "L" in his name stood for. He could have been named for an individual. He didn't pass the L on to any of his 11 children. The only L name was daughter Martha Louise Morton and I would doubt his L was for Louise.

Vashti Calloway Morton, the first wife we know of for Samuel Parsons Morton, is buried on Graveyard Island, in the first part. These islands hold the remains from several cemeteries that were displaced by the building of the dams along the Yadkin/Pee Dee River. They would have been covered by water if not moved during the creation of Badin Lake. The section Vashti is in holds those remains of the Locke, Morton, Simmons, Kirk-Nash and Pennington cemeteries.
Vashti's stone states she was born November 27, 1912 and died Oct 27, 1846 at only 33 years old. This would make her only 14 when S.F.L. Morton was born. Very young, but not out of possibility, especially considering the era.

There were also Pennington's in the Morton Cemetery and S.F.L. Morton married a Pennington.
In the 1830 and 1840 census records for Rev. S. P. Morton are 2 boys, the oldest 10-15 in 1830 and in his 20's in 1840, that fits George Crogin Morton and one under 5 in 1830 and 15 - 19 in 1840, that could be Stephen Ferdinand L. Morton. 

There are also 3 girls in 1830 that were not daughters, one 5-9, one 10-14 and one 15-19, who were possibly sisters, not daughters. Later on, in 1840, there are 2 little girls under 5 fit in line with known daughters.

So the two census records show that both George and Stephen lived with  Sammy, but not the relationship.
Other circumstantial evidence I found was that Samuel P. Morton witnessed a deed in January of 1840 between Benjamin New and Cleborn (also spelled Claiborne) Pennington, father of S.F.L's wife, Nancy.

But much earlier, on July 7, 1823, Samuel P Morton purchased property from D. McRae on the waters of Ugly Creek. This was 150 acres bordering George Mcswain. Sammy, born in 1805, would have only been 18 years old. Chain carriers were Henry Henley and Stephen Morton.

This was 3 years before Stephen F.L. Morton was even born. There was a Stephen Morton who shows up in the 1820 census and fought in the War of 1812. Perhaps this was the same one, but chain carriers were normally, but not always, young men and teenaged boys, so perhaps this was an in between Stephen.

Quite coincidentally, the next deed involved William F. Morton on the East side of Montgomery were Daniel McRae was a chain carrier, and in the year 1805, when Samuel Parsons Morton was born, and was purchased from Joseph Parsons, a son of Samuel Parsons, who served in the state Senate, representing Montgomery County in the years 1784 - 1785 at the New Bern Assembly.  I've often thought Rev. S.P. Morton was named for him, whether a family connection is there or if it was just from respect for the gentleman, I can't say.

Two years earlier than the first deed in which he was a chain carrier,  1821, Stephen Morton is serving in this capacity again with Robert Duke involving a transaction between D. McRae and David King. My guess would be this was Duncan McRae. This property was on the Southwest side of the PeeDee River and both sides of Ugly Creek and joined James Duke, George Mcswain and Robert Dukes own line. So this was close to the tract Sammy would buy in 1823.

In 1838, Samuel P. Morton, in his capacity as the Executor of the Estate of his Father-in-law, Job Calloway, sold property to David Kendall, in conjunction with his mother-in-law, Susannah Randle Calloway. This can be found in the Stanly County, NC Deed Book 23 Page 387. The deed was witnessed by three people, Isaac Calloway, son of Job and brother-in-law of S. P. Morton, James M. Clay, and an "L. F. G. " Morton, it appears. I don't know of any other Morton in the area at the time who carried these initials. Stephen Ferdinand L. Morton has 2 of the three, and I thought perhaps the "G" could really have been an "S", but he would have only been around 12 years old. Could there have perhaps been another Ferdinand? Maybe the son of Samuel was named for this missing brother?

Other mentions of Stephen F. L. Morton are in an October 1850 deed, Book 3 Page 8, wherein Mark Jones and Isaac Parker, acting as Trustees for Samuel P. Morton, transfer property he obtained in 1846 to Stephen F. L. Morton for $180 for the 140 acres tract that adjoined the properties of Mark Jones and Francis Locke. By this time, Rev. Sammy was out and about traveling and ministering. His wife, Vashita Calloway Morton, had died a few years previously and he had remarried a lady from Anson County, Lucy Ingram, and is shown there, near Red Hill Church outside of Ansonville. On his part, Stephen had settled into marriage and family and is living near the area where he grew up in Stanly County.

In the early court records, 1850 and before, Stephen F. L. Morton is metioned twice, before he migrates away.
First, is in the case of State vs  Stephen Foreman. the Defendant along with Henry Melton, Rowland Forrest, Robert Melton and S. F. L. Morton "confess judgement for $30 to be discharged on payment of costs and fine. Earlier in the same session of court, August of 1850, Stephen  Foreman is brought up on charges of A & B (Assault and Battery). These were young men at the time, there could have been a brawl.

As I dig deeper into this branch of the Morton familly and its various possible limbs, I find definate bonds to what is known as 'associated families'. Some of these bonds are obvious, like the Calloways, Randles and McLesters, Sammy married a Calloway, her mother was a Randle and her sister married a McLester, and there may have been, as there often is, other connections to these families further back in the family line. 

An association I have not yet resolved is the connection to the Foreman family. It's there, I can see it in the mist, but it has not made itself tangible. There's the name 'Stephen', which is not unusual, but neither is it John or William. Add that to 'Ferdinand', which is a definate standout, and the fact that Ferdinand Foreman and Ferdiand Morton were the only two Ferdinands kicking around in the Stanly County dirt at this time. But the topper is the fact that the father of both Stephen and Ferdinand Foreman was Alexander McLester Foreman. There's that McLester again, and there is an Alexander McLester in Stanly at the time. As contemporaries, its obviousl Alexander McLester Foreman was not named for Alexander McLester, but what if the two families merge a few generations back, perhaps cousins of some degree to an older ancestor named Alexander McLester, and perhaps they even relate to the Mortons?

Stephen Ferdinand L. Morton picks up roots, not long past this last date, and moves to Arkansas. In the 1850 through 1880's, there was a constant flow from Stanly County, NC to Arkansas, and sometimes back. Several areas were a popular destination, but Hot Springs ruled. S. F. L. and his wife Nancy Ann Pennington chose Van Buren County in which to raise their dozen children. They later, through an attorney in Arkansas, appointed John S. Freeman, in Stanly County, NC, as their legal representative, to collect monies due them from business and inheritance transactions. This was on February 22, 1871. Some indicate his intent for the inheritance from the Calloway estates. This document in no way implies a connection to any one particular estate or family. 

Nancy Ann was supposedly the daughter of Claiborne Pennington, and I will get to my doubts about that in a post on Sammy's chldren. I still include S. F. L. Morton as the son of Samuel P. Morton until I run into any evidence against it. Here's my theory and why:

I believe there may have been an older Ferdinand who either died or migrated away, the mysterious "L. F. G. Morton". I believe there is a connection or relationship to the older Stephen Morton who appeared in the 1810 census and fought in the War of 1812. I believe he was still her in the 1820's, as there is no existing census, but a Stephen Morton appears as a chain carrier in two deeds, 1821 and 1823, before S. F. L. Morton was even born, one even the deed of Samuel P. Morton. There's a 15 year age gap between Samuel P. Morton and his younger brother, George Crogin Morton. Sammy  was supposed to be the oldest according to an article written about him. There's 6 years between George Crogin and S. F. L.. On the subject of gaps, there's also a gap in age between S. F .L. and Sammy's other known children, which is a work in progress.

My theory is that S. F. L. was Sammy's son, but not neccesarily Vashti's. She was only 14 when he was born, while Sammy was 21. It was the 1820's, though, when modern sensibilities of the age difference did not exist. I've seen elderly men marry teenaged girls during this century, ie Henry Delamothe and Bethany Bailey, John Norwood and Sarah McSwain Lee, Edward Winfield Davis and Rebecca Hathcock. I could go on. 

Girls back then did marry early and have babies at 14, however, something is telling me that Sammy may have had an earlier wife, maybe a Foreman, who died young and then he married Vashti. It's possible. I need to dig around in those Foremans some day soon. They're not a stray bullet. I have a Foreman in my family tree, Isabelle Forman who married Hardy Hatley. They're one of my family lines, too. 

As far as the bread crumb trail, that naming pattern that sometimes helps to track a family through migrations due to what they named their children, S. F. L and Nancy's left no real clues. They named their oldest son Samuel David, Samuel in honor of Sammy, I am sure, but that could have been from being his grandfather, or in honor of just an acting father, biological Uncle of the boy, who obviously did grow up with Sammy. Next came Sarah J., Margaret Ann, George Claiborne (there's George again and Claiborne for Claiborn Pennington), Stephen Julian, Hewey Thomas (another popular Morton name0, Martha Louise, John Franklin (lots of Franklins), William Pennington, Joseph Alexander (also popular) and Susannah Elizabeth (for Susannah Randle maybe?).

The Verdict: Undecided, leaning son, not sibling.

Elizabeth Morton Fesperman

Elizabeth Morton Fesperman was another name given in the letter to "Mrs. Osbourn" as a sibling of S. P. Morton. This one was easy. The Fesperman family in Stanly County was not a large one. 

Michael Fesperman, of German decent, ran a mill among other enterprises, along the Yadkin/ Pee Dee River on the Stanly County side. The family attended Ebenezer Church, which became First Baptist in Badin, NC and the family lived near the area we now call Badin. In one census, James Morton, who has been tagged as the father of Samuel P., and whom I believe was related somehow, was enumerated next to Michael Fesperman.  I believe this family line came from the Dutch Creek Settlement in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties originally. He married Leah Dry and raised a sizable family, among which were two sons with identical initials which seemed to get entangled to no end. These were Paul Alexander Fesperman and Phillip Allen Fesperman, who both married women named Elizabeth. See how wires could get crossed? Phillip Allen Fesperman, born about 1816, married an Elizabeth "Bettie" Carter. He lived his life in Stanly County, NC and is buried at Ebenezer/ Badin Baptist. 

Then there is Paul Alexander Fesperman. 

Paul was born about 1818, two years after Phillip Allen. When Stanly County was formed from the West Side of the Pee Dee River, from Montgomery County in 1841, he was appointed Postmaster of the Community of Stony Gap, at age 23. 

Name:Paul Fesperman
Birth Year:abt 1820
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Freemans, Stanly, North Carolina, USA
Occupation:Mill Wright
Industry:Not Specified Manufacturing Industries
Line Number:34
Dwelling Number:193
Family Number:194
Household MembersAge
Paul Fesperman30
Elizabeth Fesperman27
James Fesperman4

The first census he shows up in is the 1850 census of Stanly County. Here, he is married to Elizabeth, aged 27, with a 4 year old son named James. He's a Mill Wright in Freeman's Township, which is later known as Harris. He's probably working for his father, Michael. 

This Elizabeth is Elizabeth Jennings Morton.

Name:Paul Fesperman
Birth Year:abt 1818
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Washington, Webster, Missouri
Post Office:St Luke
Dwelling Number:163
Family Number:163
Real Estate Value:60
Personal Estate Value:580
Household MembersAge
Paul Fesperman42
Elizabeth Fesperman37
Jas P T Fesperman12
John E Fesperman9
Frederik W Fesperman7

By 1860, the family is living in the town of Dallas in Webster County, Missouri. They now have 3 sons, and all three boys, including the youngest, Frederick, was born in North Carolina, meaning they migrated after 1853, about the same time as...guess who? George Crogin Morton. So this one was easy for the children of George C. Morton, because they grew up in the same county as their Aunt, Elizabeth Morton Fesperman. 

So Elizabeth Jennings Morton Fesperman was the one mentioned in the letter and the younger sister of Samuel Parsons Morton and George Crogin Morton. Jennings is an unusual middle name for a girl, but this branch of the Morton family is famous for odd middle names. Crogin anyone?

Name:Paul Fesperman
Age in 1870:56
Birth Date:abt 1814
Birthplace:North Carolina
Dwelling Number:199
Home in 1870:Ozark, Webster, Missouri
Post Office:Marshfield
Cannot Read:Yes
Cannot Write:Yes
Male Citizen Over 21:Yes
Personal Estate Value:350
Real Estate Value:600
Inferred Spouse:Elizabeth Fesperman
Inferred Children:Frederick Fesperman
Household MembersAge
Paul Fesperman56
Elizabeth Fesperman48
Frederick Fesperman18
John Fesperman19
Mary F Fesperman18
Mary E Fesperman3

In 1870, Paul is farming in Marshfield, Ozark, Webster County, Missouri. They've now added a daughter, Mary E., the last child and only daughter. Oldest son, James has started his own family and the 18 year old Mary is actually a daughter-in-law. 

Name:Paul Festerman[][]
Birth Date:Abt 1815
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1880:Ozark, Webster, Missouri, USA
Relation to Head of House:Self (Head)
Marital Status:Married
Spouse's Name:Jennings Festerman
Father's Birthplace:North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Household MembersAgeRelationship
Paul Festerman65Self (Head)
Jennings Festerman54Wife
Mary E. Festerman14Daughter

In 1880, only young Mary is left at home and Paul is still farming in Marshfield. He doesn't live long afterward and passes away on May 11, 1882.

Paul Alexander Fesperman is buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Marshfield, Wesbster County, Ozark Township, Missouri. Elizabeth outlived him by a decade. 

Elizabeth Jennings Morton Fesperman died on April 17, 1892 and is also buried at Pleasant Hill. Her tombstone gives the birthdate of  August 17, 1826. 

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):West Side Pee Dee River, Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - Under 5:1 Stephen F. L. Morton
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 14:1 George Crogin Morton
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:1 Samuel P. Morton
Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 9:1 Elizabeth Jennings Morton Fesperman
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 14:1 Middle Sister
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19:1 Oldest sister
Free White Persons - Females - 20 thru 29:1 Vashti Calloway Morton
Free White Persons - Under 20:5
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:2
Total Free White Persons:7

I believe she was the girl, aged 0 to 5, in this 1830 census of Samuel P. Morton in Stanly County. 

Paul Alexander Fesperman and Elizabeth Jennings Morton Fesperman named their 4 children:

1) James Knox Polk Fesperman (1847  Stanly County, NC - 1935 Le Flore County, Oklahoma.

J. K. P. Fesperman family from Find-a-Grave

The following information is included in his Find-a-Grave Memorial, posted by an anonymous member, known only as No. 47650891.

Son of Elizabeth J. (nee Morton) and Paul Alexander Fesperman. Traveled on horseback from North Carolina through Kentucky and on to Webster County, Missouri, this story being parlayed from his daughter Eliza Jane (Fesperman) Ford to her grandchildren in the mid 1930s.

Enumerated in the 1850 Stanly County, NC census near Freemans.

Enumerated in the 1860 Webster County, MO census near Washington.

Enumerated in the 1870 Webster County, MO census near Dallas.

Married Elisabeth Jane Farr 24 March 1871 in Webster County, MO.

Enumerated in the 1880 Webster County, MO census near Dallas.

Enumerated in the 1900 Webster County, MO census near Dallas East and Dallas West.

Left Missouri soon after 1900 for Indian Territory, Choctaw Lands.

Enumerated in the 1910 LeFlore County, OK census near Red Oak.

Enumerated in the 1920 LeFlore County, OK census near Howe.

Enumerated in the 1930 LeFlore County, OK census near Howe.

James K. P. Fesperman and Elisabeth Jane Farr Fesperman had 7 children: Eliza Jane, Mary Hannah, James Adam, John Robert, William Frederick, George Washington and Minnie Maye.

2) John Ebon Fesperman 1850 Stanly County, NC - 1913 Webster County, Missouri

John and his wife, Mary Frances Jack Fesperman had 10 children. Notice the names: 

Samuel Paul, Laura Rebecca, Louis Pemberton, George E., Mary Elizabeth, Rose Etta, Michael Jennings, Roxie Ida, James Frederick, William Harvey.

3) Frederick William Fesperman 1853 Stanly County, NC to 1915 Webster County, MO.

Frederick W. Fesperman

Fred was a minister and  married twice, first to a Delitha Stroud and second to Frances Paralee Williams. A Baker's dozen children arrived between the two marriages, including two daughters who died as infants. The 11 that were named were: James Noah, George Merritt, Susan George, Henrietta, Robert Ira, Henry LeRoy, Letha May Charles Estell, Inez Edna, Agnes E., and Delancy.

4) Mary Elizabeth Fesperman Wells 1865 Webster County, MO to 1952 Vernon County MO.

There's always the possibility that Mary Elizabeth Fesperman was not the biological child of Paul and Elizabeth due to the large space between her and her brothers. But it could have been just a matter of lost pregnancies and lost babies. Elizabeth was 39 when her only daughter was born and every document and otherwise clues say she was theirs.

Mary Elizabeth married Ira Wells and had 4 or 5 children: Mary Florence, Elizabeth Parakeet, James Ervin and Frances May, aka Frankie. There may have been an Agnes who died young, also.

Just imagining the life of this Midwest woman who came into the world in Missouri at the end of the Civil War, grew up during reconstruction, came of age during the Victorian era, watched the growth and innovation that occured around the turn of the century, lived through both World Wars and made it to the 1950's with Air travel, automobiles, telephones, TV's, modern appliances and everything else. Can you imagine?

The Other Sisters

According to the letter to Mrs Osborne, there were two other sisters besides Elizabeth Morton Fesperman, a Peggy Morton Fooks and a Hannah.

Like the Fespermans, the Fooks/Folks/ Fowlkes family (it's spelled numerous ways for the same people), were not populous in Stanly County. I did not find a Peggy Fowlkes, or a Margaret, knowing Peggy was the nickname for Margaret, like Polly for Mary, Patsy for Martha, Sally for Sarah, Jincy for Jane, Lizzie or Betty for Elizabeth,and so on.

Who I did find, however, was Hannah Morton Fowlkes. I already knew Hannah was related to me, she's in my Thru-lines. I share DNA with her descendants. Like George Crogin Morton, her brother, folks have her down as a daughter of Ezekiel Morton and Elizabeth Brumbalow Morton. 
They have merged her with his actual older daughter, Rebecca Morton Whitley. I found Rebecca and she is mentioned in The Deed, that I recently blogged about. 

Rebecca was not Hannah. Hannah was not Rebecca. There is no indication that Hannah had the middle name of Rebecca, or even a middle initial at all. The same with Rebecca Morton Whitley. Both are my great aunts, several generations back.

I descend from Ezekiel Morton on my paternal side and Samuel Parsons Morton on my mother's side. Like George Crogin Morton, the shared matches I have with the descendants of Hannah Morton Fowlkes are on my maternal side. 

So I've determined that Hannah was the sister of Sammy. They even look alike.

Check out these side by sides of them in old age. 

Despite the fact Hannah's mouth had been all but completely erased, I see a strong family resemblance.

They both looked much better young.

Sammy as a young Registrar of the County of Stanly.

Hannah as a young mother.

There's even a memo in the Fesperman research that John H. "Fooks" was the brother-in-law of Paul Fesperman. And he was, except Ezekiel was not their father-in-law. There are several land and financial transactions between the two. 

Hannah Morton Fowlkes (I'll use this spelling as it seems most accurate), was born October 16, 1811, 6 years younger than Sammy. According to the Fowlkes Family Bible of a lady named Helen Tucker, John Fowlkes and Hannah Morton were married on May 3, 1829. 

She wouldnot have been one of the girls in the 1830 census with Samuel P. Morton, as she was already married one son, William Stephen Foulks.

Name:John Folks
Home in 1830 (City, County, State):Montgomery, North Carolina
Free White Persons - Males - Under 5:1
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:1
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19:1
Free White Persons - Under 20:2
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:1
Total Free White Persons:3
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):

By 1850, the family had expanded considerably, to 7 children and the family is in Harris Township, the Northeast section of the county, where I would expect them to be.

I will not endeaver to dig deep into the Fowlkes family, at least not yet. The constant and persistent variation in spelling makes them deeply difficult to trace outside of  Stanly County. Suffice to say they were a traveling bunch, with the exception of John Henry and Hannah. They stayed put 

That may be why on Oct 18, 1878, Paul Fesperman of Webster County, Missouri, gave John H. Foulks, his brother-in-law, Power of Attorney to act in his interests concerning the settlement of the estate of his father, Michael Fesperman. This can be found in the Stanly County Deeds, Book 12, Page 178.

John Henry and Hannah Morton Fooks/ Folks/ Fulks/Foulks/Fowlkes had a family of 8 children.

1) William Stephen Fowlkes 1830- 1910 in Richmond County, NC. There's that name, Stephen again. William was the first name of John Henry's father.

   W. S. married Lucy Jones Blake and had 8 children raised in Rockingham, Richmond County.

William Stephen Fowlkes

The below is an obituary shared by Leslie Fulghum.

Obituary of William S. Fowlkes

From a copy of a clipping. Name of paper is unknown.

Mr. William S. Fowlkes was Postmaster at one time

In the death of mr. William S. Fowlkes, which occoured at 9o'clock Tuesday morning at the home of his son, Mr. M. H. Fowlkes.  Rockingham has lost one of it's most valuable citizens.  He had lived here for nearly 30 years, having at one time lived in Fayetteville, and had followed the trade of watchmaking from early manhood until a few days ago when he was taken sick.  He was in his eightieth year and had been in feeble health for sometime.

Mr. Fowlkes was the Postmaster of Rockingham at one time and there are many who remember him in this capacity.  He was a Mason of high standing, and had served his order long and well in almost every capacity, having taken many of the highest degrees.  In early life he joined the Methodist Church and was a consistent member unti his death.  He leaves two sons, Dr. John S. Fowlkes of Hamlet and Mr. M.H. Fowlkes of Rockingham.  Also two daughters, Mrs. Neil of Atlanta, Miss Alice Fowlkes of Rockingham. 

The funeral was held at the Methodist Church Wednesday morning, and the Masons of the town attended the body, adminstering the rites of their order.

2) Alexander M. (possibly McLester) Fowlkes 1832-1864 Morrisontown or Chattanooga,  Tennessee.
    Alexander was a victim of the Civil War. While in service, he died of pneumonia. Before joining the Confederate Army, Alexander had moved to Chester County, South Carolina and was working as a Carpenter.

3) Samuel James Morton 1835 - 1894 Albmarle, NC. There's the name Samuel, again, and James.
    Sam was married twice, first to Mary Goodman, second to Adaline Morris Pennington. All of his children were by Mary Goodman. 

Samuel James Fowlkes

Despite being buried in the county he was born in , S. J. Fowlkes also moved around a bit. He married Mary in Rowan County, then he moved to South Point in Gaston County, next to Mallard Creek in Mecklenburg County, where he was a Miller, and finally back to Stanly. Among his 7 children was a son named John Martin.Naming sons 'John Martin' is another common thread I find weaving in and out among this branch of the Morton family.

4) Sarah Elizabeth "Sallie" Fowlkes 1841 - 1919 Albemarle, NC.
    Married James Crowell Austin at the age of 42. No children.

5) John Martin Fowles 1841 - 1862 Cedar Run, Viriginia. Another young life lost in the Civil War.

John Martin Fowlkes (contributed by Lucy Oakes on

6) Healthy/ Hetha/ Hettie Louise Fowlkes 1846 to about 1910 Stanly County, North Carolina.
     Married William Henry Emsley Hopkins - 9 children. Oldest daughter named Flora Martin Hopkins.

7)  Mary Jane Fowlkes 1849 - 1935 Big Lick, Stanly County, NC.
     Married William Thomas Lisk - 5 children; One named John Martin, one named Samuel and another Hannah.
Mary Jane F. Lisk

She raised her children in Mount Gildead in Montgomery County, and lived for a time in Kannapolis, Cabarrus county.

8) Margaret Theresa Temperance Fowlkes 1855 - 1911 Albemarle, Stanly County, NC.
    Married 1st to George W. Jenkins - 7 children. Married later in life to Jefferson D. Cline.

Hannah Morton Fowlkes, my 5th Great GrandAunt, died on September 14, 1881 at the age of 70. Her husband John H. followed her 4 years later in 1885. They both are buried in the Fooks - Fowlkes Family Cemetery, and abandoned cemetery near the Palestine Community of Stanly County. According to the book, "These Hallowed Grounds," published by the Stanly County Genealogical Society, this cemetery was surveyed in 2004 by Bryon Carter, Lewis Cagle, Pam Holbrook and Priscilla Clark. About 25 graves in total. It seems several generations of the family are buried there.

So what about Peggy?

I have been actively pursuing Peggy and her family, and I believe I have found her. I am by no means finished as their tendancy to travel leave them a bit elusive, but ancestry. com has aided my search.

It seems Peggy's last name was Foulkes after all.

Name:Margaret Folke
Birth Year:abt 1807
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Bird, Jackson, Arkansas, USA
Line Number:35
Dwelling Number:13
Family Number:13
Household MembersAge
James Folke40
Margaret Folke43
Stephen Folke16
Sarah Folke14
Mary Folke13
William Folke10
Samuel Folke8
Laura Folke0
Martha Folke3

I found this family in the 1850 census of Jackson County, Arkansas. James Fowlkes (as the name turns out to be), Margaret and their oldest son, Stephen, were born in North Carolina, the next 3, Sarah, Mary and William, were born in Tennesee and the younest 3, Samuel, Laura and Martha, were born in Arkansas.

Jame L. Fowlkes continued applying for homestead patents until 1860, when it appears he died. His patents were in California Township and Davis, Bee Branch, Van Buren County, Arkansas.

And that is were wer find the family in 1860, minus James. Margaret P. 'Folks' is now 53 and working as a seamstress in Valley Springs, Van Buren County, Arkansas. She's living in household 446, which is next door to her unmarried children in No. 471 Mary Ann E.22, William M., 19, Samuel J, 15, Laura G.11 and a new child, Nancy C.C, aged 8, who was the last child, Nancy Cassandra, called Cassie.

But is Margaret ever called Peggy and can we confirm her maiden name?

Name:John Fulks
Age in 1870:24
Birth Date:abt 1846
Dwelling Number:7
Home in 1870:Turkey Creek, Van Buren, Arkansas
Post Office:Kinderhook
Male Citizen Over 21:Yes
Inferred Mother:Peggy Fulks
Household MembersAge
Peggy Fulks50
John Fulks24
Cassy Fulks18

Well, we can confirm that she was called Peggy, but so far into researching her children, I've not found a confirmation or even a suggestion of her maiden name. In 1870, Peggy is found in Kinderhook, Van Buren County, Arkansas with her son Samuel John Fowlkes/ Fulks and youngest daughter, Nancy Cassandra. 

I've not found more of Peggy, and my research has just begun, but there is one more thing that tells me I might be on to something.

When I entered the family into a tree in ordered to reasearch them, I look up at James and I see this message:

Now, I had this family independent of any other family, just father, mother and children, no grandparents or siblings of the parents. Ancesty's algorithms had connected this family through other family trees and records, and was calling James "Fooks", the brother-in-law of my 5th Great GrandAunt. (Actually my fourth, as I started the tree my DNA is connected to with my youngest daughter). Apparently, James and John Henry Foulks were brothers. Would it not make sense for that most common of of 19th century occurrences, a pair of siblings marrying another pair of siblings, to have happened here? I suppose if I added Peggy in as a sibling of Samuel Parsons Morton, Elizabeth Morton Fesperman, Hannah Morton Foulks and George Crogin Morton, Ancestry would adjust its description of James Folks/ Fooks as the husband of my 5th Great GrandAunt.

From the descendants of George Crogin Morton, I know that they and the Fespermans arrived in Missouri via Tennessee. It can't be hard to imagine that the families may have settled in there for just a bit, before James and Peggy split off to go to Arkansas, while George and Elizabeth and their families continued on to Missouri. 

While its all just circumstantial, sometimes in genealogy, with these old records, or lack of them, circumstantial is the closest you can get. Like I always say, it might not be good enough to get you into the DAR, but it might be good enough for your gut. Before I get into my core beliefs on genetic memory, a true genealogy nut will get what I mean. Sometimes you just feel it.

Before I go and continue tracing down James and Peggy's ever wandering children, I wanted to add my little theory of the bread crumb trail of names. James and Peggy named their firstborn son Stephen Ferdinand. Sound familiar?

No comments:

Post a Comment